After four months of construction, a Baithussalam was finally inaugurated and formally opened at the headquarters of the 4th Special Forces Battalion in Cabunbata, Isabela City, Basilan on August 8, 2019.
The Baithussalam, which means “House of Peace” in Yakan dialect, was built through the collaborative efforts of the defunct regional government of ARMM led by Mujiv Hataman, the AFP’s Joint Task Force Basilan led by Brigadier General Fernando Reyeg, and Balay Mindanao Foundation, Inc. (a peace and development foundation that aids in the Program Against Violent Extremism (PAVE) of the government).
The facility will serve as the center for the conduct of the PAVE for peace programs, such as training, reformation, and development, of all rebel returnees in the province of Basilan who blindly fought for their ideology but finally decided to lay down their arms and return to the fold of the law.
Present were Basilan’s Lone District Congressman Hataman, Governor Jim Hataman-Salliman, BGen Reyeg, and the ASG rebel returnees.
A short dialogue to the returnees followed after the inauguration whereby Cong. Hataman, Gov. Salliman, and BGen Reyeg gave their statements regarding the recent operation of the PNP-SAF in Hadji Mohammad Adjul that resulted in the killing of two former ASG members.
BGen Reyeg expressed his sympathy for the demise of their comrades and sought for their understanding on the incident.
“We encourage everyone to give your full trust and confidence to the Armed Forces and to the PAVE program of the government,” Reyeg said.
Food packs and financial assistance were given to 207 rebel returnees during the ceremony.
“I personally believe that our remarkable accomplishments in the campaign against radicalism and violent extremism should not only be attributed to the Armed Forces but to the local government units and the populace as well,” Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana, Commander WestMinCom said.